Today in US National Team History

May 19th saw two massive friendlies for the US Men’s National Team eleven years apart.

In 1991, the US played Argentina at Stanford Stadium in front of just over 30,000 fans. Bora Milutinovic achieved a measure of tactical discipline and organization that would serve the US well for the next several years in a 1-0 defeat where the Americans showed the type of quality rarely previously exhibited by the side.

Here was the US squad from that day in 1991:

Tony Meola

Jeff Agoos

Des Armstrong (Robin Fraser)

Fernando Clavijo

Bruce Savage

Marcelo Balboa

Chris Henderson (Troy Snyder)

Jansuz Michalik

Bruce Murray (Dom Kinnear)

Peter Vermes

Eric Wynalda (Hugo Perez)

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Eleven years later the US limped towards Korea/Japan 2002 with one bad result after another. After struggling through the second half of the Hexagonal the US won the Gold Cup in early 2002 by using PKs to defeat Canada and benefiting from Mexico’s defeat to Costa Rica. Subsequently the US looked completely outclassed against Italy and Germany.

On May 19, 2002 the US faced Holland a team that had failed to qualify for the World Cup despite being a power in world football and semifinalist at both the 1998  World Cup and Euro 2000. The game was held in Foxboro and the US was thoroughly beaten, 2-0. It would shock many that weeks later the US turned in its best World Cup performance in over 70 years.

Here was the US lineup from May 19, 2002:

Brad Friedel (Kasey Keller)

David Regis (Joe Max Moore)

Jeff Agoos (Gregg Berhalter)

Eddie Pope

Tony Sanneh

Earnie Stewart (Cobi Jones)

Claudio Reyna

John O’Brien

DaMarcus Beasley (Eddie Lewis)

Clint Mathis (Landon Donovan)

Brian McBride (Josh Wolff)